The recent revelation that 148 female prisoners in two California institutions were sterilized between 2006 and 2010 is another example of the state's long history of reproductive injustice and the ongoing legacy of eugenics.
Thank goodness Mississippi voters -- as have voters in every other state where this issue has appeared on the ballot -- put the rights of women above the "rights" of fertilized eggs. But how soon until a state does restrict birth control?
If our representatives want North Carolina to prosper in the coming decades, they need to stop attacking communities of color, low-income communities and others who disagree with them. Otherwise they will drag North Carolina backwards in history.
What of legacy? Did the violent effects of eugenically-charged language die with the discrediting of the eugenics movement, or do they continue, protected by the shroud of historical forgetfulness? There are hints.
Jesus is often quoted for his saying to "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's." The rest of the quote could be a message to the Obama Administration: "Render unto God the things that are God's."
Is there any connection between the eugenics movement and the anti-choice movement? Forcing a woman to give birth -- which the anti-choice movement effectively requires -- really is not that different conceptually from preventing her from giving birth.
Today, the idea of the state medically taking away someone's right to procreate against their will seems impossible. But from the 1930s to the late 1970s, North Carolina used eugenics to justify mandatory sterilization of people with mental disabilities, criminals and other undesirables.
As a tourist in Lhasa 24 years ago, Blake Kerr witnessed Chinese soldiers and police massacring unarmed Tibetans, inspiring him to begin documenting the underside of China's military occupation of Tibet.
Coerced sterilization and castration are in many ways no different from other limitations on individual reproductive choice: they violate a number of fundamental rights, including the rights to health, privacy, and physical integrity.